Spring vacation is a many-splendored thing. Families can stage a getaway during the 10-day school-break in March or April: those in snow zones can fly somewhere warm; those in mild zones can go play in snow. Below are ideas for five family-friendly spring breaks:
Clearwater Beach, two hours from Orlando, has miles of beaches, nature outings and plenty of urban delights nearby. Pier 60 has a beautiful sweep of sand, a large playground, a long pier to walk on, and a free daily Sunset Festival with artisans, face painting and street performers. On the beach you will also find turtle nests, a Seabird Sanctuary, boat trips, dolphin viewing, shelling and more. One drawback of visiting here is that the beach region is highly populated. The beach averages 361 days of sunshine, with average temperatures in the mid-70s year-round.
Halfway between New Orleans, LA and Tallahassee, FL is a spot where Alabama nudges onto the Gulf of Mexico — here lies Gulf Shores. Spring weather in the area is usually warm, with cool evenings: the average daily high is 66.7°F in March; 74.4°F in April; and 81°F in May. Gulf Shores has 32 miles of sugar-white beaches, reasonable prices, great seafood, and a number of family attractions. Besides enjoying the miles of beaches, the area includes a nature center and wildlife refuge, mini golf, laser tag, go-karts, paddle boats, a waterpark, hot-air balloon rides, and more.
New York is exciting for children of any age, but there's an extra thrill in visiting with a teen old enough to know you're in one of the world's great cities. While you're there, take a tour with the Big Apple Greeters, where friendly New Yorkers volunteer to show tourists around for free — and can show you how to use the subway system. Other things to do while you're in the Big Apple include visiting Grand Central Station, seeing a Broadway play, visiting the American Museum of Natural History (on Central Park), television studio tours, shopping...the list goes on and on! In March and April, the average highs reach between 50 and 60 degrees. The average rainfall for each month is 4.04" and 3.93", respectively.
Utah has several choice spots for snow vacations, including seven different mountains near Salt Lake City. The area, coined with the motto "The Greatest Snow on Earth," wins many awards for its dry, light snow. Several resorts in the area have "Kids Ski Free" for ages 6 and under, and a $10 price for kids 7-10. All of the resorts have kids' ski schools and other programs. Be sure to book kids for classes early, as they tend to fill up fast. In addition to great skiing, Salt Lake City has many shopping, sightseeing and cultural possibilities. With an average March high of 53 degrees and an average April high of 61 degrees, Salt Lake City won't feel like a beach town, but it will be warm enough to enjoy your time outdoors.
A top family vacation spot that combines beach fun with interesting and educational outings is located just south of Cancun in the Riviera Maya. The area consists of sleepy beach towns, beautiful coral reef, a unique eco-archeological theme park, lagoons for snorkeling, Mayan ruins, jungle walks and more. Many of the resorts are all-inclusive, with daily activities and kids programs from ages 4 to 12. The average high in March is 84°F, with the average low only dipping to 71°F. The average high for April is 85°F; the average low 73°F.